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Information professionals as customer service representatives

A wonderful tale of customer service regarding the return from a resort hotel of a forgotten stuffed giraffe got me to thinking about how important this same practice is to successful information professionals. Forgetting for the moment the obvious and appropriate “security blanket” metaphor, the link between the hospitality and IT worlds lies in the need to ensure people feel well cared for even after the formal relationship has ended.

Most managers today understand that how readily users accept a new solution has much to do with how involved they are in at least the initial design phases. But what many fail to realize is that post-implementation support is at least as critical, for there still is a period of adjustment to be navigated before users are anywhere near ready to operate on their own.

In practical terms, this means that information professionals must tune into how satisfied and/or frustrated users are with the new system, and remain tuned into this for a good while after the official go-live date. In the best of cases, close monitoring during the testing phase will foster the ability to anticipate issues before they arise so that supporting resources can be put into place before users even know they will need them.

These resources include the likes of user guides, operating manuals, and help desks, and the ability to put people in touch with them quickly and in a personalized manner will go far towards entering a happy outcome. In this way, you are behaving in a way the aforementioned hotel’s customer service staff would both recognize and be proud of – and like the hotel, you should be able to bask in a subsequent bright light of satisfaction and reap the reward of receiving future opportunities to shine.

Give your users the best service you possibly can by learning the latest principles and practices as embodied in the Certified Information Professional program! Contact us for details.

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